Falling asleep and staying asleep is essential for a healthy
mind and body. Lima Memorial Health System's (LMHS) Sleep Center
offers 10 tips to improving your sleep habits.
#1: Use Biological Cues
Your body clock is the best indicator you can use to set a sleep
schedule. If you don't feel tired, don't try to force your body to
sleep. Use your own body rhythm to set a schedule that's best for
#2: Use Nature's Cues
Environmental factors, such as the sun, give our bodies cues on
when to sleep and when to be awake. Natural light triggers the body
to wake, while darkness tells it to sleep. It is best for your body
to sleep when the sun does.
#3: Avoid Napping
Taking long naps and napping late in the day may affect your
sleep schedule. Try to maintain a consistent schedule of sleep that
includes minimal napping and a common bed time.
#4: Develop a Sleep Routine
Having a sleep routine or schedule will help your body prepare
itself for sleep. Once you have established this, your body will
take cues from your actions that it is time to wind down. Going to
bed and waking up at relatively the same time is instrumental in
setting a routine. Also, keeping the environment cool and the body
warm can help in creating a good sleep environment. Turn off all
distracting noises and enjoy the quiet before you sleep.
#5: Stop Watching the Clock
When you constantly remind yourself how long you have been
trying to fall asleep, you can create anxiety and further hinder
your ability to rest. Instead of tossing and turning, try getting
up and doing a boring activity until your body feels tired.
#6: Watch What You Eat and Drink
Being too full or too hungry can inhibit your sleep. Eat a light
snack before going to sleep to create the right food balance in
your stomach. Avoid caffeine, nicotine and alcohol within six hours
of sleep. These substances can stimulate your system and make
getting a restful night's sleep difficult. Also, avoid consuming
excessive amounts of fluids before bed time.
#7: Clear Your Mind
Stress about what happened in the past or what will occur in the
coming days can make it difficult to sleep. Keep your mind clear
when you lay down for the evening.
#8: Use Your Bed Correctly
If your bed doubles as a couch for watching TV, a reading room
or a lunch table, this may be hindering your sleep. Your bed should
be your haven for sleeping and your body should equate the bed with
Keeping your body healthy is key to good sleep. Timing is
everything when it comes to exercise. Try to complete your exercise
regimen at least four hours before bedtime to ensure your body is
relaxed for a deep sleep.
#10: Consult a Physician
Excessive daytime sleepiness, falling asleep frequently and at
inappropriate times, as well as not being able to sleep restfully
are all reasons to consult a physician. When in doubt, see a